Mutual-Interaction Potential Fields Model to Simulate Crowd Behavior during Evacuation Processes

Document Type : Original Article



The fact of overpopulation in many countries drags the attention to the need of predicting the human crowd behaviour through the development of reliable models that can be used to plan building evacuation processes in emergency situations. Computer based models that simulate human crowd dynamics prove to offer the optimum solution in such cases. This paper presents a model to simulate the behaviour of human crowd using the artificial potential fields to describe the interaction forces between each crowd member and the environment on one side and amongst the crowd members on the other side by adopting the mutual interactions rules that appear in many biological systems such as bird flocks and fish schools. Rather than simulating the individual based behaviour of each crowd member, a collective behaviour through the interactions amongst the crowd members is simulated adding more realistic flavour to the predicted crowd behaviour which is vital to plan the evacuation processes of buildings especially those with complex structures such as buildings with narrow corridors and bottlenecks. Numerical results that match the real observed behaviour of human crowds in building evacuation processes prove the efficiency and the applicability of the model.